Second judge axes Biden highway climate emissions rule

By Lesley Clark | 04/03/2024 06:20 AM EDT

The rule is a “regulatory elephant squeezed into a statutory mousehole,” wrote a federal judge in Kentucky.

Exhaust flows out of the tailpipe of a vehicle.

Exhaust flows out of a tailpipe of a vehicle in Miami. Joe Raedle/AFP via Getty Images

A second federal judge has invalidated a Biden administration rule that required state and local transportation officials to set greenhouse gas emissions targets for federally funded highway and road projects.

The Federal Highway Administration’s rule exceeded the agency’s statutory authority and is “arbitrary and capricious,” Judge Benjamin Beaton of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky ruled Monday night.

His decision comes less than a week after another Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas struck down the rule nationwide, finding that the agency had overstepped its boundaries under federal law.


“A tailpipe emissions reduction forced on states under the guise of highway planning is just another example of a regulatory elephant squeezed into a statutory mousehole,” Beaton wrote.